Indiana’s “Stay-At-Home” order has been in place for about a month, drastically reducing operations in the hospitality industry. Restaurants in the state are estimated to lose nearly $1 billion in sales in April.
While some restaurants have shifted to carry-out services, many have cut worker’s hours or let employees go.
So far, about 2 percent of restaurants in a recent National Restaurant Association survey say they have permanently closed. That number is expected to rise to 4 percent in the next 30 days.
Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association President Patrick Tamm says federal aid from the Paycheck Protection Program has been scarce with very few receiving money in the state.
“Some that have received those dollars are very reluctant to even utilize them,” says Tamm. “Because they do not want to be on the hook for a loan at this time when they do not know how they're going to be, or when they're going to be reopened, how they can reopen, and what the consumer is thinking at that time as well.”
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Tamm says this hit not only impacts the businesses and their employees, but also the state and local communities that rely on sales taxes from the industry.
“Local units of government or different convention and visitor bureaus and as well as, you know, stadiums and other community assets that are paid for, their debt is serviced by food and beverage taxes or innkeepers’ taxes on hotels,” he says. “We’re generating very little to no money.”
Tamm says there is concern about how the virus will continue to affect tourism and events even after the “Stay-At-Home” order is lifted.
He expects restaurants will make changes once they reopen to ensure the safety of customers and workers in response to the pandemic.
This is a rapidly evolving story, and we are working hard to bring you the most up-to-date information. However, we recommend checking the websites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the Indiana State Department of Health for the most recent numbers of COVID-19 cases.